Showing posts with label fourth grade. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fourth grade. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

In the Art Room: Sew a Softie!

I was recently contacted by the author of Sew Together, Grow Together, Trixi Symonds. She's the founder of Sew a Softie (check out the #sewasoftie on Instagram for some fun inspiration!) and has a fun sewing opportunity coming up in the month of July. I'm definitely joining the fun...and I thought you might want to as well. 
Trixi lives in Sydney, Australia where she has been teaching hand sewing to children for over 20 years. She coordinates workshops and leads sessions at galleries, bookstores, schools, you name it. Her goal is to encourage adults to share the love of stitching with children by providing cute, creative and fun sewing tutorials. Are you sold yet? I love her already! 
Trixi came to me with her idea of making July Sew-a-Softie month and asked if I'd be interested in joining the fun. Of course I agreed...and thought y'all might want to as well. Here are the details from Trixi:

The aim of Sew a Softie is to show both adults and kids that hand sewing is fun, creative, fulfilling, and that absolutely everyone can do it. Throughout the month of July simple to sew softie tutorials will be posted daily online. You can find them on the Sew a Softie Facebook page, the Coloured Buttons blog and the Sew a Softie website. Also, check out colouredbuttons on Instagram

You could take part by posting a softie tutorial and join the blog hop or by sewing softies with a group of friends or students anytime in July and posting on Instagam with the tag #sewasoftie.

Thanks, Trixi! I know I'm excited to get started.
I mentioned that Trixi is a book author, you can find her book here!
To clarify, if you want to join the Sew a Softie fun, be sure to follow Trixi's Facebook page. There you can find daily softie sewing inspiration as well as share your own ideas and creations. If you share on Instagram, don't forget to use #sewasoftie. I know I'm looking forward to lots of new tips, tricks and sewing project ideas for my students. 
Doesn't this sound like fun? For more inspiration, be sure to check out Trixi's blog and Instagram. It's sure to get your wheels turning. These cute images are from there. 
I know my students absolutely love sewing and had a blast with our Stitched Monster project. I think this will be a fun way to gain new ideas and collaborate with hand sewing enthusiasts all over the world. I hope you'll join the fun!

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

In the Art Room: Bobble Head Pets UPDATE!

BRACE YOURSELF FOR THE CUTE. This is just a handful of the Bobble Head Pets that my fourth graders created and each one is so stinkin' adorable! If I had any patience at all, I would have waited until the next crop of cute was unloaded from the kiln before blogging but I just couldn't wait (one being fired now has a monocle and a top hat while another has a spiked collar...I'll just have to do a follow up post to this here follow up post)! The kids loved this project...and the results from each are just precious. 
We learned some things along the way: keep the point at the top of the body very pointy as that helps the head rotate and bobble better. Glazing both the inside of the head and the top of the point also makes for a better bobble. 
These creations took us three one-hour art classes to create. On the first day, we made the body. MANY of the bodies were so thick that I just KNEW they were going to explode in the kiln...but none of them did! Stay tuned for a long overdue Art Teacherin' 101 this week on my fave clay tips and I'll share with you how I prevented explosions. 

On the second day, we made the head. With extra time and extra clay we made doggie dishes, toys, mice for our cats, you name it, they created it. On our final day, after a bisque firing, we glazed! Here's the demo video I created and used. Feel free to use in your art teacherin' adventures! 
This lesson was also shared in my book! You'll have to buy the book to see just what animal I made bobble.
You can pick up your book here...keep in mind that the release date isn't until June. A fun summer surprise in your mailbox, ha! 

All the projects in my book were created with air dry, oven bake or homemade clay...but many of them could be done with kiln fired clay, like this project! I'll be exploring all kinds of clay projects next month during my LIVE craft nights! You should join the fun, you can create with ANY clay. But I'll be exploring a variety of air dry, plaster and homemade clay...
Pick up your clay kit here and get ready to craft with me LIVE on Facebook at 8 pm CST next week! 

So, true facts: not all of the heads bobble freely. Many of them are pretty stationary. BUT...the kids are having so much fun gently rotating the heads and getting them to tilt just like a real pup or kitten. Just moving them a little totally changes the look of the sculpture!
 Many of the kids created their beloved pets. 
 We use Mayco's Stroke and Coat. I give the kids EVERY color in the rainbow because, well, who doesn't want to have a lot of options. I picked up tons of ice cube trays from the Dollar Tree and put a different color in each slot. I labeled each slot on the tray so that the kids would know what color they were using since the colors can change so drastically in the kiln. I encourage at least three coats of glaze for just the right amount of shine. We also have our dog dishes (ha!) of water and sponge for cleaning brushes. I recently had a teacher ask how I teach the kids not to mix colors. I usually do something like this: DON'T MIX THE COLORS! And that works. 
Seriously, my kids have been painting since kindergarten. They know that we always keep our paint brushes pointy by painting with just the tip; we always clean our brush in the water and dry on the sponge before changing colors. It's rare that I have kids mix colors...especially my older students. I encourage pride in artwork and I think they know that taking care of art supplies will create a beautiful masterpiece. 
And, again, I say: DON'T MIX THE COLORS! Usually one talking to and explanation as to why we don't do that does the trick. And, if all else fails, take the paint away. If you can't use the supplies correctly, so sorry, you are done for the day. 
 Rant over! Back to the cute.
As y'all know, we are having a pet shop theme for our art show. These guys are in charge of the cats and dogs. Now we just have to work on transforming the art room into a pet shop! We have some ideas cooking about how to make that happen. 
These kids have made so many 3-D works this year: bobble heads, candy hearts, sewn monsters! They are going to dominate at the art show. 
 I swear their eyes follow me around the art room!
 Have y'all done bobble heads before? What did you do differently?
Until next time! 
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Monday, April 10, 2017

In the Art Room: Stitched Monsters, Update!

Now that Clay Week(s) has come to an end, it's back to business as usual in the art room. In order for all of my kids to work with clay at once, I have the kids "push the pause button" on whatever we are currently working on. That means, after clay week, we un-pause and resume what we left behind. For fourth grade, that meant our Stitched Monsters! Here is the lesson video I created for this project. Feel free to use in your art teacherin' town!
Out of all the projects we have done this year, my kids have ranked this one very close to the top. Clay was a first place winner, of course, but it was a tight race. Many of my students have started sewing at home, bringing in their pillows, monsters and other creations. I remember when I was first introduced to hand sewing as a kid. It felt like a whole new world of creating was opened up to me. I think the kids are feeling the same. 
 I really liked having the kids use Smart Fab for the body as this made it easy for them to see thru and insure they were "capturing" the arms and the legs of the monster as they stitched. Once the stitching was complete and the monster was flipped to the correct side, if they noticed that part of their arm or leg was not securely attached, the kids had to go back and restitch. This really taught them the importance of good, even stitches. 
Once flipped, the kids had to complete a sketch of their monster. This sheet asked them questions about their monsters to really get their creative juices flowing. Once the sketch was done, they were to slide a card into their monster, cut the shapes of the face and glue them down with tacky glue. The card inside made it so the monster would not be glued together. 
Not until the kids started stuffing their monsters did they really seem to understand that they were creating a stuffie. One told me he was going to go home, make a bunch and sell them. Right on, dude! I had many requests to take them home today...but I need them for the art show! Give me a month, y'all.
Have y'all done stuffed monsters with your kids? I know there are may ways to go about making them. 
 Earlier this year, one of my sweet students gave me a small stuffed monster with a rectangular body and dangling arms and legs. That look is what I based this pattern on. 
Learning to sew monsters this way taught my students how to properly pin, stitch and create a monster. I definitely think this is a lesson worth repeating! 
Love to hear about your students stitchery projects! 
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Thursday, March 9, 2017

In the Art Room: Folk Art Still Life

 Hey, y'all! A handful of my second graders got really close to being finished with their Folk Art Still Life which was my sub plan while I was out last week. I am so thrilled with their hard work (as are they) that I just had to share. Many of them are still adding flowers and leaves so I'm only sharing a handful. Their next step is adding small details with puffy paint which you know I love as much as they do. Here is the lesson video that my sub used with all of my students, kindergarten thru fourth grade:
Speaking of sub, if you need any tips, tricks and/or sub plans, I just hosted a Facebook LIVE chat last night on that very topic! The chat and all of the commentary is archived on my official Facebook page if you are interested. We have been doing those live chats for the last couple of months and they are blast. Well over 100 art teachers join in each time and it's a great way to share. So if you aren't busy on Wednesday night at 8pm CST, be sure and pop by!
While they were with the sub, some of my students had one 30 minute art class while others had two. So what the sub was able to accomplish was beyond her control. What I love about having a recorded lesson (and a project that the kids are in progress) is that when I return, I don't have to scramble to slap together lesson plans. I can just pick up where the sub left off. 
 With the sub, my students were able to get their sticks done and glued down to the background. When I came back this week, my students worked on their vases and flowers. By next week, they should have all of their flowers and leaves complete and be ready to add some puffy paint. 
One thing that was not in the video was the oil pastel background. One of the kids added color to the background with the bright oil pastels and we all lost our minds...brilliant! So we all had to do the same. You know how that goes, right?!
I know they aren't complete...but I just had to share! I think these are so pretty and perfect for spring and Mother's Day. If you give this project a go, you'll have to let me know. 

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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

In the Art Room: String Art!

Tonight, on Facebook LIVE at 8pm CST, I thought we could talk about how to prepare for a sub. I'll share with you what I do to insure that I'll won't come back to a Hot Mess Express. I'd love to hear your tips. ALSO...I have BIG NEWS about our LIVE chats that I think you are going to love love love! So I'll see you real soon.

My lovely and sweet (ahem) spring-break-ready third graders are starting their string art project this week. We have prepared the boards by painting them (we are using cardboard pizza rounds purchased in bulk via Amazon) and adding texture. We also punctured holes in them to prep them stitching. Next week, we'll sketch out our designs and start stitching. Here's the video I created to introduce the kids to this process. Feel free to use and share in your art teacherin' world.
Even if you don't do this project with the kids, you might wanna watch it for the needle threading trick alone. Or you can just follow me here and catch a short clip.
There are many methods of string art but I'll be introducing my kids to ones that I call Spectrum and Radiating Design. I found the above, the one I call Radiating Design, to be a little more taxing simply because you have to get more yarn to make the lines go all the way around the board. 
This one I'm calling Spectrum. This one is fun because you can use a lot of different colors. It's up to the artist just how much stitching happens within the design. 
 My third graders were at the end of this project when I introduced this new one. So during the second half of one art class, when they were finished with their candy sculptures, I had them quickly color, paint and scrape a texture onto their boards. 
Today, the first half of class, we did this. I had a handful of kids that were absent the day so they worked on coloring and painting while the majority did this. Thankfully, we had this project to also work on. Have I ever told y'all that I have a habit of having the kids work in exactly 37 projects at once? I ain't proud. 
The kids are stoked! I can't wait to share with you what they create. 
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Thursday, February 23, 2017

In the Art Room: Folk Art Still Life Inspired by Kerri Ambrosino

 Next week, I'll be heading to the Big Apple for the NAEA convention (you can check out the dates/times/topics I'll be presenting and co-presenting here). In preparation, I've been working on my sub plans which, as you know, is always a really good time. Because I'll be presenting on folk art, I decided to base my sub plans around that theme. In particular, my students will be learning about the Mexican folk artist Kerri Ambrosino
I'm a sucker for color and pattern. I am using her work to also reteach the elements of art and introduce the principals of art. While I am gone, my students will tackle the first half of the sub plan video and we'll do the rest together when I return. Cuz there ain't no way those kids are using puffy paint without me! I'll be doing this lesson with all grades. When I create sub plan videos, I often do this because it is so much easier for the sub. They become experts at the lesson and don't feel flustered going from one lesson to the next, switching out visuals and supplies. A Happy Sub means Fewer Flubs! Here's the sub video. Feel free to use in your art teacherin' adventures:
Supplies needed:

* Popsicle sticks. I have ONE TRIZILLION popsicle sticks. I always get them donated and I never know what to do with them...until now. Of course, they aren't necessary for this project but they do add a fun three-dimensional element. 

* Matte board/cardboard. This will hold the weight of the sticks. I have a surplus of card and matte board as well so this was a good way to use that up. I cut it 4" X 7".

* Construction paper.  In various colors, also cut to 4" X 7" to serve as the background.

* Scrap papers. For the vase and flowers.

* Foam flowers. Again, another art room surplus. Let's use 'em up! They'll also add that fun third dimention.

* Puffy Paint!
 While I'm away, I hope that the students will get all of their sticks decorated and glued to their background. For my 30 minute classes, they might only get the sticks complete. For my hour long classes, they should have no problem knocking that out. We are also creating large scale flower still lives for teacher appreciation...so my early finishers start on that with their decorated strip for the table. 
 Kerri's work is just wonderful! I love everything about it and I think my students will as well. I'm excited about these small masterpieces. They'll make a great addition to our art show and the perfect presents for Mother's Day...which I know is far off but I always procrastinate. Not this time!
 I will be certain to share a follow-up blog post.
If you give this lesson a go, I'd love to know! Special thanks to my P.E. buddy Ali for working out the kinks of this project with me. 
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